I’ve discovered, by traveling at the holidays, that people in general are not a particularly nice bunch of bipeds. Especially at Christmas. They’re greedy, self-centered, bitter, and not above running you over for a better parking space. By the time I leave Maryland for the Great White North of New Hampshire and my family’s Christmas traditions, I’m so sick of humanity that I want to bitch slap it into the New Year.
But not this year, not entirely. Why? Because this year my friend Erinn started a blog. A very special, very awesome blog.
It’s called Be Nice to a Stranger and it’s a really good way to start off your day.
Every day during the month of December, Erinn did something nice for someone else. She bought medication for a stranger, brought donuts into work, called up a GEICO insurance representative and said thanks for doing a great job. Every day she took a few minutes of her own busy time to appreciate someone else in the world.
And it’s the kind of thing that spreads.
She’s a teacher and she had the kids in her class do it. Jilly and Jessica and I started reading the blog and every so often we’d find ourselves doing little things for people we didn’t know. And now, Erinn is being promoted on the local television and radio news shows.
Not because she’s a reality bimbo or because she’s a celebrity with a God complex. She’s being interviewed because she helped people when everyone else was passing them by.
I’m so incredibly impressed with her that I can’t think of anything profound to say. Except that it shouldn’t be so out of place in modern society to treat each other well. We should appreciate our lives, the happiness we have, the fact that we’re not constantly dodging bullets and bombs and debris. And yet, I don’t think enough of us do, myself included at times.
We’re a huge mass of bodies on this planet, constantly bumping into each other without a second thought, and we never stop to consider the guy who lost his job and whose family doesn’t have a place to sleep, or the single mom who just needs someone to hold a door open for her. We have to live on the same rock with each other – we shouldn’t be so oblivious.
(I’m getting down from my soapbox now, I promise.)
Anyway, December runs out in two days and Erinn’s experiment will be over. She’s created this incredible sense of paying it forward amongst her loyal readers and her school’s community. So in a last ditch attempt to make Erinn’s adventure even grander than it was a moment earlier, I’m paying it forward to you, TNB, and to the readers.
Be nice to a stranger and think of how thankful you’d be if someone did the same for you.
Happy New Year!